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Laser Youth Worlds - The chasing sailors put pressure on frontrunners

by SVG Verlag on 15 Aug 2016
It could have been her day at the U-21 World Championship in the Laser Radial: Valentina Balbi (Italy) sailed two first places and one second, which did not count due to an early start.
Changing conditions on Sunday (14. August) at the Laser Youth World Championships (U-21) in Kiel did reshuffle the cards. Three races were sailed in the Laser Standard (men) as well as the Laser Radial (women).

Many sailors, who were not seen much in the top ranks before, did finish in the top positions - and thus tried to put pressure on the earlier favourites. But at the end of the day, where the 144 men were also divided into a gold and silver fleet for the final round, the 'old' favourites again took the lead.

Many clouds were seen above the regatta area on Sunday, but it stayed mainly dry despite a shower in the early afternoon. But the wind shifted with each cloud and caused many cancelled starts and general recalls.

Jonatan Vadnei (Hungary) continues to be in the lead of the men's fleet after eight races, but is only in the lead by one point in front of Joel Rodriguez (Spain). Nik Aaron Willim (Schleswig/Germany, Norddeutscher Regatta-Verein) is the best German on rank three. With the places five, eleven and four on Sunday, he now is 16 points behind.

In the women's fleet, the positions of the top three ranks has not changed despite different results in the three races of the day. Monika Mikkola did increase her lead with the places five, four and two. With a victory of the day, Maud Jayet (Switzerland) did take over rank two. Although Maité Carlier from Belgium hat to give up in one race (which she can discard), she is still on rank three. Despite their great results, the pursuing sailors were mainly shooting themselves in the foot due to early starts.

'I will win the next races', Marie Barrue (France) had said defiantly after a disqualification due to an early start on Saturday. And she was determined to make that reality on Sunday. After the first round in the first race, she was indeed leading, but was overtaken from the Italian Valentina Balbi and the Greek Vasileia Karachaliou.

Even at the second start, Balbi was one of the fastest starters at the pin end just like the Swiss Lucie Ben-Amor and Karachaliou. Too fast, because they were already on the start line with the signal and were disqualified. It was an exciting race. With each shift, other female sailors were in the lead. The right side of the course was better in the end. That's where the British sailors Clementine Thompson and Iona Dixon came from. Monika Mikkola, the sailor from Finland in the yellow jersey for the leading position overall, did concentrate more on the middle and did turn around the windward mark short after the top ten.

On the second downwind - with more and more clear skies - each wave was optimised with a small rocking movement. It was a head-to-head race of the two Swiss sailors Maud Jayet and Andrea Nordquist with the British Clementine Thompson, with Maud Jayet being the first one reaching the mark. She could hold the small lead until the finish, in front of Thompson and Nordquist. Thanks to a good downwind leg, Monika Mikkola did even become better: She was rated as the fourth.

In the third race, Valentina Balbi wanted to give it a try once more - and did win in front of Mikkola and Judith Engberts (the Netherlands). 'It has been a good day for me, if there would just not have been that early start', she is looking back at today's races. 'Sail fast' is her strategy for Monday - 'and let's see, what the weather forecast brings', shouted the coach in the background.

In the men's fleet (two starting groups), Ao Higuchi (Japan) and Joan Cardona Mendez (Spain) did win the first race of the day. 'I did a pretty good start. I started at the pin end“, said Mendez. 'Already 100 meters after the start, I could tack and then cross all the fleet. Then I just had to control the race', the sailor from Mallorca is happy about winning the race. In the second race, the frontrunners Jonatan Vadnai (Hungary) and Joel Rodriguez (Spain) were the winners.

The third race was again won by Nils Theuninck from Switzerland and Joel Rodriguez. Six protests were handed in in the evening - and had to be decided with the jury. 'The day has made me tired', said Santiago Sampaio from Cascais (Portugal), when he cleaned up his Laser after three races and seven hours on the water. „The regatta is great. I had trained here a week before, I like this sailing area. We cannot do anything about the weather.' It shall be similar to Sunday - and so two more races are planned for the Laser Standard and Radial on Monday starting at 11am.

The races of the gold fleet of the men can be watched live on the event website (TV and tracking).

U-21 World Championship in the Laser Standard (Men)

Interim ranking after 8 races (1 discard)

1. Jonatan Vadnei (Hungary), Plätze 1, 6, (9), 1, 1, 3, 1, 2; 15 points
2. Joel Rodriguez (Spain), 1, 2, 5, 1, 5, (11), 1, 1; 16 p.
3. Nik Aaron Willim (NRV, Germany), 4, 5, 8, 3, 3, 5, (11), 4; 32 p.
4. Maxim Nikolaev (Russia), 24, 1, (73 ret), 2, 1, 8, 2, 3; 41 p.
5. Nicolo’ Villa (Italy), 11, 9, 5, 4, (14), 7, 8, 2; 46 p.
6. Santiago Sampaio (Portugal), 3, 4, 10, 7, (18), 4, 14, 4; 46 p.

U-21 World Championship in the Laser Radial (Women)

Interim ranking after 8 races (1 discard)

1. Monika Mikkola (Finland), Plätze 4, 1, 1, 1, 4, (5), 4, 2; 17 points
2. Maud Jayet (Switzerland), 1, 5, 7, 4, 3, 9, 1, (13); 30 P.
3. Maité Carlier (Belgium), 2, 4, 4, 3, 8, (58 ret), 9, 9; 39 P.
4. Elli Cumpsty (Great Britain), 6, 7, (19), 6, 1, 7, 7, 7; 41 P.
5. Marie Barrue (France), 3, 21, 2, 2, (58 bfd), 3, 11, 5; 47 P.
6. Valentina Balbi (Italy), 20, 6, 8, 9, 1, (58 bfd), 1; 51 P.

Laser Standard Men and Laser Radial Women Youth Worlds (U21 - U19):

• Tuesday, 9. August: check-in, measurement
• Wednesday, 10. August: check-in, measurement, 2pm: practice race, 7:30pm: opening ceremony/dinner
• Thursday, 11. August: 11am: qualification round
• Friday, 12. August: 11am: qualification round
• Saturday, 13. August: 11am: qualification round, 7pm midweek party with dinner
• Sunday, 14. August 11am: qualification round
• Monday, 15. August, 11am: final round
• Tuesday, 16. August, 11am: final round, after that prize giving ceremony and final party/dinner

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